Reach - Devil's Dyke - Swaffham Prior - Reach

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This pleasant and interesting walk begins in the Cambridgeshire village of Reach, which lies in the triangle created by Cambridge, Newmarket and Ely. There is convenient parking right at the start of the walk. It begins on the ancient defensive monument of Devil's Dyke (aka Devil's Ditch), which although significantly shorter than the more famous Offa's Dyke, is actually higher and better preserved in many places.

The County Council occasionally runs guided walks to highlight the archaeology of the monument and there are seven information boards along the dyke, some of which feature in this walk. There is plenty of wildlife to see on the open chalk landscape, including species of rare butterflies and flowers and several species of bird including skylarks.

Two miles along the 7.5-mile dyke, the route cuts across fields along a well-marked footpath directly towards the picturesque village of Swaffham Prior. At this point of the walk we observed a large family of hares in mid-May. This village boasts two churches and two windmills and is easily spotted from the height of the dyke.

From Swaffham Prior the trail follows a country track back towards Reach and runs along the edge of a newly planted wood established by the Woodland Trust.

England - East England - Cambridgeshire - Fens


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Pub, Wildlife
9/5/2014 - Duncan Grey

This is a pleasant walk with unusually good views from the dyke, as the highest point for miles around. Very good instructions. Note that there is another nearby walk recently created and well signposted: 'The Earthworks Way' of 8 miles covering some of the same ground. Also that at waypoint 9 the community woods are now well established and it is worth exploring them to see the clunch pits which were the source of trade along Reach Lode and up to Ely, where the clunch (soft chalky stone) was used to build the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral. This walk is also a perfect excuse to sample the excellent food at The Dykes End at Reach which is highly recommended.

7/9/2007 - JO COX

A very enjoyable walk and it was good and flat too for anyone who has difficulty with walking hills. Instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Wonderful variety of wild flowers in early July. This is probably best as a summer walk.